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Bluebird
20-02-2005, 15:12
For the past few weeks, there's been a real ding-dong, on this forum on this one particular issue...The "alleged" abuse of human rights and use of torture, against detainees by the incumbent American administration's was on terrorism - to glean (further) information.

The argument even got personal and almost as far as a showdown at the OK Corral. Here, I'm not mentioning names...

But, one person, in particular, sought to blame the US for everything connected with this issue. It was even suggested that he was "Walking in my shadow," by another person involved in the debate.

Today, I found this article, in the Independent on Sunday. This article makes for an interesting read, and should be read, by those who stand in glass houses, throwing stones...

Full story on: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=612865

A UK diplomat says Britain is part of a worldwide torture plot. Is he telling the truth?
Our former ambassador to Uzbekistan refuses to go quietly. The Government should come clean about interrogation methods, he tells Raymond Whitaker

20 February 2005

Craig Murray is a very undiplomatic diplomat. Former ambassadors are supposed to be tending their flowers in Home Counties gardens, but this one is not. He is, instead, making extraordinary allegations, the most damaging of which is that Britain is using information obtained from torture to imprison people indefinitely. So convinced is he of the truth of this and other claims that he plans to stand against his former employer, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, at the general election.

Not for this man the emollient, languorous language normally associated with his profession. Our former ambassador in Uzbekistan is nothing if not forthright. "Unreliable information, obtained under torture in countries where it is routine, can be used against people in Britain," he told The Independent on Sunday in his first interview since leaving the Foreign Office last week with a 315,000 payoff. "On the basis of such information, they can be detained in Belmarsh prison or in future be put under house arrest for life. It impacts here in the UK."

The departure of Mr Murray, 46, from the diplomatic service is the culmination of an extraordinary two-year battle with his masters. His public denunciations of the Uzbek regime, and private complaints at American and British support for it, led to a confrontation in which he was accused of drunkenness and trading visas for sex with local women, and told to "resign or be sacked". The charges were leaked; when his marriage broke up over his relationship with a 23-year-old Uzbek hairdresser, Nadira Alieva, who now lives with him, that got out too. Now he plans to expose Britain's "hypocrisy" in the "war on terror."

The latest revelations concern the practice of "extraordinary rendition". Using unmarked planes, the CIA is delivering prisoners to regimes which practise torture and then making use of the information produced. "There is increasing evidence that America is shipping people round the world to be tortured," Mr Murray says. "I saw it in Uzbekistan because I happened to be there, but it's also happening in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia."

Britain is unapologetic about making use of such information. The Foreign Office line is that while it totally condemns torture, it cannot rule out using any reliable intelligence, wherever it comes from, if it will save lives. But it is the reliability of the information that Mr Murray questions. In a scathing final memo to the Foreign Office, he wrote:

Sparafucile
20-02-2005, 17:49
Thank God for people like Craig Murray - and others with a spine, who are unafraid to challenge torture and murder where they find it.

What was he supposed to do as British Ambassador in Uzbekistan.... go along with the Uzbekistan Govt line that there are no secret arrests, torture, state-sponsored murder of journalists etc in Uzbekistan....

... simply because Britain wanted an air-strip from which we could bomb Afghanistan?

What a pathetic joke - bombing a bad regime with the aid of ground facilities in one that's just as bad, or even worse?? :(

Olim
20-02-2005, 18:21
I am not saying what he said was untrue, but it's kind of funny he only threatened to lift the lid on what's going on after he was caught in bed with a beautician and was accused of harrassment by several of his co-workers. If he is that noble, why didn't he go public with all this years ago?

Its funny how he refused to leave the service until his severence pay was upped by around 200%.

RIKO
20-02-2005, 19:34
Originally posted by Olim
If he is that noble, why didn't he go public with all this years ago? Good point.

Bluebird
20-02-2005, 19:40
Originally posted by Olim
I am not saying what he said was untrue, but it's kind of funny he only threatened to lift the lid on what's going on after he was caught in bed with a beautician and was accused of harrassment by several of his co-workers. If he is that noble, why didn't he go public with all this years ago?

Its funny how he refused to leave the service until his severence pay was upped by around 200%. I seem to remember something about this fiasco, in the Moscow Times, last year. But, are all these just allegations or actual and proved facts?

However, I take your point(s) on the issues of his conduct and golden handshake - good bye, one that is...

And, if he has hard proof, to substiate his allegations, then this opens up yet another can of worms...A can which the press will surely want to prize open even further...

koba65
20-02-2005, 22:24
I usually take such claims with a grain of salt when they come from people trying to deflect attention from their own scandals. Reminds me of former weapons inspector Scott Ritter. He was very anti-Saddam, swore up and down that he had WMDs, etc., and then after being investigated for allegedly trying to lure a 15 year old girl on a date (turns out the "15-year old girl" was an internet cop -allegedly his second offense) he started saying the US government was after him because he was going to break a story saying Saddam had no WMDs (contradicting everything he reported and swore to earlier). He now works for Al Jazerra - there's your credibility.

Reminds me of Khordokorvsky, Berezovsky, et al, they lap up the wealth, enjoy favors, etc. and as soon as they fall out of favor and their misdeeds are to be known they turn "political" - great move - they feed the West the b.s. that they're being persecuted for political beliefs and not for the crimes they committed.

But the absolute REAL torture going on in the world is the latest version of Maxim Gorky's "Meshan'e" - UZASH!! The Human Rights Commission should ban any so-called modern directors from being allowed to upgrade a classic. Foo.

PS - Please ignore the "alleged" regarding Ritter - he was convicted.

Olim
20-02-2005, 22:43
The guy probably isn't making it up. But does he think this is news to anyone, least of all Westminster and Fleet street? Are British people so naive as to think atrocities such as these are not carried out all over the world by the CIA/MI6 or whoever? I don't think they are.

Bluebird
20-02-2005, 22:46
Originally posted by koba65
I usually take such claims with a grain of salt when they come from people trying to deflect attention from their own scandals. Reminds me of former weapons inspector Scott Ritter. He was very anti-Saddam, swore up and down that he had WMDs, etc., and then after being investigated for allegedly trying to lure a 15 year old girl on a date (turns out the "15-year old girl" was an internet cop -allegedly his second offense) he started saying the US government was after him because he was going to break a story saying Saddam had no WMDs (contradicting everything he reported and swore to earlier). He now works for Al Jazerra - there's your credibility.

Reminds me of Khordokorvsky, Berezovsky, et al, they lap up the wealth, enjoy favors, etc. and as soon as they fall out of favor and their misdeeds are to be known they turn "political" - great move - they feed the West the b.s. that they're being persecuted for political beliefs and not for the crimes they committed.

But the absolute REAL torture going on in the world is the latest version of Maxim Gorky's "Meshan'e" - UZASH!! The Human Rights Commission should ban any so-called modern directors from being allowed to upgrade a classic. Foo.

PS - Please ignore the "alleged" regarding Ritter - he was convicted. I can certainly agree, with your oligargh's bit...Really amazing how they do that bit, and play it out for max symapthy, from the west.

Look at the current Yukos case, in Houston...Bound to get a symathetic ear and hearing there...:)

Ned Kelly
21-02-2005, 09:20
nonsense, yukos was outed last week for doctoring documents - their western managers were exposed as being as fraudulent as their russian paymasters.

the case will almost certainly be thrown out tomorrow.

RIKO
21-02-2005, 10:21
Originally posted by Olim
The guy probably isn't making it up. But does he think this is news to anyone, least of all Westminster and Fleet street? Just wait for the REAL STORY ...... from the WIFE ! Hell hath no fury .......

P&M
21-02-2005, 14:29
Understatement of the week - whoever let an oik like that into the FO should be sent for a Karimov bath. Countries don't have principals; just interests (to misquote Disraeli). The guiding principal - "he may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he's our son-of-a-bitch" has clearly been applied. His job was to facilitate British interests - not to put his personal views first (and certainly not to put other bits of himself into local staff)

tgma
01-03-2005, 12:12
My understanding is that he made his views clear to the Foreign Office, who told him that they set policy, and not him. His claim is that the complaints about conduct against him started when he continued to criticise the official government line. In any case, it's not against official policy for diplomats to have relationships with locals - there must be any number of British diplomats who have fallen in love with and married people from their country of posting.

This is an internal discipline issue. The FO is run by politicians, who have a right to expect diplomats to toe the policy line. Having said that, there is a long and proud tradition of whistle-blowing by civil servants, and long may it continue. Remember that the Labour government was first elected with a promise to conduct an "ethical foreign policy". This went out the window when they sold jets to Indonesia, that were to be used against the population of East Timor.

The bottom line is that the UK government is being hypocritical, like most governments before it. It complains about the lack of freedom and democracy in countries that it doesn't like, and ignores a similar lack in countries that it needs to befriend. It's the same as the Bush government harping on about the lack of democracy in Russia, while ignoring similar problems in Saudi Arabia, for instance.

Bluebird
01-03-2005, 23:39
Originally posted by tgma
My understanding is that he made his views clear to the Foreign Office, who told him that they set policy, and not him. His claim is that the complaints about conduct against him started when he continued to criticise the official government line. In any case, it's not against official policy for diplomats to have relationships with locals - there must be any number of British diplomats who have fallen in love with and married people from their country of posting.

This is an internal discipline issue. The FO is run by politicians, who have a right to expect diplomats to toe the policy line. Having said that, there is a long and proud tradition of whistle-blowing by civil servants, and long may it continue. Remember that the Labour government was first elected with a promise to conduct an "ethical foreign policy". This went out the window when they sold jets to Indonesia, that were to be used against the population of East Timor.

The bottom line is that the UK government is being hypocritical, like most governments before it. It complains about the lack of freedom and democracy in countries that it doesn't like, and ignores a similar lack in countries that it needs to befriend. It's the same as the Bush government harping on about the lack of democracy in Russia, while ignoring similar problems in Saudi Arabia, for instance. Interesting too, that American veteran chat show host and journalist, Phil Donahue, also got the gooner (after over 25 years in TV journalism) for talking about his views on the Bush's admin's decision to launch the invasion of Iraq.

When Bush was grilled about that aspect, of press freedom, by a Russian journalist in Bratislava, he sidestepped the issue, by saying it was the editors who did the firing.

All true enough, but under what and who's pressures from above? One can only imagine...